[ sol-ip-siz-uhm ]
See synonyms for solipsism on
  1. Philosophy. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.

  2. extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one's feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

Origin of solipsism

1880–85; sol(i)-1 + Latin ips(e) self + -ism

Other words from solipsism

  • sol·ip·sis·mal, adjective
  • sol·ip·sist, noun, adjective
  • sol·ip·sis·tic [sol-ip-sis-tik], /ˌsɒl ɪpˈsɪs tɪk/, adjective

Words that may be confused with solipsism

Words Nearby solipsism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use solipsism in a sentence

  • I realize now that I may have been falling into the trap of solipsism, “who watches the quad,” et cetera, type of thing.

    On Handling the Data | M. I. Mayfield
  • Why not admit solipsism and be true to the transcendental method?

    Character and Opinion in the United States | David Goodger (
  • This theory is also called Subjective Idealism or solipsism.

  • The philosophic system becomes a solipsism, a pure lyric expression of the appetites of human nature.

    Creative Intelligence | John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen

British Dictionary definitions for solipsism


/ (ˈsɒlɪpˌsɪzəm) /

  1. philosophy the extreme form of scepticism which denies the possibility of any knowledge other than of one's own existence

Origin of solipsism

C19: from Latin sōlus alone + ipse self

Derived forms of solipsism

  • solipsist, noun, adjective
  • solipsistic, adjective

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for solipsism


[ (sol-uhp-siz-uhm, soh-luhp-siz-uhm) ]

The belief that all reality is just one's own imagining of reality, and that one's self is the only thing that exists.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.